Why Lebanese Wineries Should Start Hiring Artists to Design Their Labels

This is not a post about “supporting Lebanese talent”. While that’s important, this is simply not about that. What this is about is marketing and sales. Plain and simple. Something I’m pretty sure every Lebanese winemaker – or any winemaker – would love to get help with. If so, then read on. I promise this is interesting…

Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought anything based on its appearance. It’s OK – don’t feel bad. We’ve all done it at some point: food that looked better than it tasted, clothes that we never wear, uncomfortable furniture that we treat like art… And for some, this even extends to their dating life. In fact, according to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, 64% of consumers trying out a new product buy it simply because the package design caught their attention.

This applies to wine more than any other product.

Wine is arguably the most intimidating drink to new consumers and this greatly impacts their buying patterns. Furthermore, advertising for wines is very low compared to other alcoholic beverages, which doesn’t help raise the number of sales. To top it off, most Lebanese wineries depend on reputation and word of mouth to help their bottles get picked out from among tens or hundreds of others on market shelves. What most winemakers forget is that very few people do their research when it comes to buying wine and even fewer walk into a store with a wine review in their hands.

So what’s the solution?

Catchy labels, that’s what. Package design is one of the most powerful sales incentives, yet it’s the most overlooked marketing tool by Lebanese wineries. Admittedly, a few Lebanese wineries have been putting some effort into packaging their wines more creatively. However, very few – if none at all – actually put some marketing thought into the impact of their label designs on consumer buying behavior. In fact, this is how I imagine the process of choosing a Lebanese wine label goes:

Dany, the graphic designer or maybe a makeshift employee who knows how to use photoshop, takes a scant hour of his time to put together the same old traditional label. Dany then asks the next random person that comes by, “Hey Suzie, what do you think of this label?” Now, Suzie’s a smart girl and her Lebanese mother, Najla, raised her right. “If you don’t have something nice to say, then just nod and smile and say something nice, anyway,” said Najla to little Suzie. Little Suzie probably said, “But mama didn’t you say I should always tell the truth?!” and Najla probably answered, “no, ya mama, 3ayb…” So Suzie, now all grown up and polite, looks at Dany’s screen, smiles, and says it’s “class”.

And that’s how that label got on that bottle.

All jokes aside, Lebanese winemakers are often stubbornly stuck in tradition even when it affects their sales. It’s common knowledge that winemakers have their sights on attracting Millennials, yet they’re short on two pieces of vital info: 1) Millennials value diversity and don’t have much appreciation for “the norm”, 2) they have very short attentions spans – just ask any digital marketer *waves*. And so the most outrageous mistake winemakers continue to make is failing to realize that their wine is viewed alongside a sea of other competing wines. So what’s to make a random consumer stop for a brief second and choose their bottle over another? Yup, you guessed it: an eye-stopping wine label.

But if you’re still not convinced. Here are some concrete numbers.

Label Analytics, formerly Real Picture Research, is a visual engagement research company. It’s main objective is to map shopper reactions to product labels and packing for marketers. One study has shown that most of us purchase wine based on our instant reaction to the wine label. “The wine label really only has 1.5 seconds to make an impact,” notes John Lawlor, co-founder of the company. Most buyers know nothing about a wine at the point of purchase. The only real info they have is the label and it literally takes a split second – 1.5 seconds to be exact – for them to decide whether they’re interested or not.

Another study was performed to identify how wine shoppers from different age groups reacted to non-traditional wine labels. Overall, 81 bottles were studied among which five had unconventional labels. They were displayed randomly to a group of mixed ages – from Millennials to Boomers. Quite remarkably, the five non-traditional labels tested better every time and grabbed every buyers’ attention consistently.

It’s good to keep in mind, though, that attention-grabbing doesn’t necessarily mean positive, not when a wine label catches your eye but makes you feel uncomfortable. You won’t buy that. So drop your crayons, get Dany off photoshop, and make the investment of hiring an artist or a highly talented designer to design your labels.

One final thought for those who still might think an unconventional label makes a wine look cheap. Take a look at the following few examples – these are of some of the world’s finest and most expensive wineries…

If you liked the designs you saw above or if you’re looking for some creative inspiration, make sure you follow my Pinterest board : Wine Label Love!

So do you have comments regarding this topic or would you like to share your personal opinion? Let’s discuss it in the comments section! And don’t forget, I’d love to know what you want to read next.

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6 thoughts on “Why Lebanese Wineries Should Start Hiring Artists to Design Their Labels

  1. The winery of marques de riscal was designed by Frank Gehry, a very famous architect. It follows the deconstructive philosophy, where Ghery imagined the winery as parts from a broken bottle of wine. This label is simply a representation of the sketches Ghery made… A limited edition maybe? And yes, the winery is real and located in Rioja, Spain.


    1. Yes I know 🙂 Anna’s question was about the first block of photos, the white champagne bottle wrapped in paper packaging (or at least I understood this is the bottle she’s referring to). I actually have the name of every winery over the photos if you hover, and I did say that these photos are of real bottles, right? But thanks a lot for your comment!


  2. Beautiful designs, I couldn’t decide with one is my favourite. The sixth design looks interesting – I wanted to zoom in to see the details, but unfortunately, the image is not big enough. Do you perhaps know the name of this wine?


    1. It’s a student project – not a real wine 🙂 I found it on Pinterest, it’s pinned along with many other beautiful ones for inspiration. I left a link to the board in the article. Thanks for your comment, Anna!

      Liked by 1 person

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